STATEMENT BY H.E. AMBASSADOR BAKİ İLKİN, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF TURKEY TO THE UN AT THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS 1160 (1998), 1199 (1998), 1203 (1998), 1239 (1999) AND 1244 (1999); REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS INTERIM ADMINISTRATION MISSION IN KOSOVO (S/2009/300)

Baki İlkin 17.06.2009
I like to extend a warm welcome to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Mr. Vuk Jeremic and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Mr. Skender Hyseni.

I would also like to thank Mr. Zannier for his briefing. We appreciate his efforts. We would also like to acknowledge and express our appreciation for the past and the current role of UNMIK in ensuring peace and stability in Kosova.

60 countries have recognized Kosovo. Turkey is one of the first to do so. This figure also gives clear legitimacy to the declaration of independence of Kosovo.

We are pleased to see that the overall situation in Kosovo is stable and that Kosova authorities are taking the necessary steps to consolidate their state institutions and system. This is a process that we fully support and remain ready to further contribute in any way we can.

In line with that, we support the efforts of the Secretary General and his Special Representative to reconfigure UNMIK. In this regard, we are pleased to see that the process is going smoothly and that we are close to finalization.

At the same time, we believe that UNMIK still has an important role to play in Kosovo, especially in helping facilitate the resolution of a number of practical but serious problems.

We are also pleased to see that there is a good working relationship and cooperation between UNMIK and EULEX. We encourage both Serbia and Kosovo to cooperate with UNMIK and EULEX.

We attach great importance to security and stability in the Balkans and see the independence of Kosovo in the framework of lasting peace, stability and prosperity in the entire region. This being the case, the support given to Kosovo in its efforts to integrate with the international community and institutions should be further intensified. We will do our part in that regard.

We must also underline that a democratic and prosperous Serbia at peace with all its neighbors is crucial for regional stability and cooperation. The international community should continue to encourage and support Serbia in its efforts to integrate with European and Euro-Atlantic structures. As for Turkey, we are determined to carry forward our friendly and mutually beneficial relations with Serbia.

Being very much a part of the Balkans, we are committed to working with all our partners towards ensuring a safe, stable and prosperous future for the region.